Haridwar

Haridwar serves as the Gateway to the Char Dhams of Uttarakhand. The 'Panch Tirth' or the five pilgrimages located within the periphery of Haridwar are Gangadwara (Har Ki Pauri), Kushwart (Ghat), Kankhal, Bilwa Tirtha (Mansa Devi Temple) and Neel Parvat (Chandi Devi). 



A paradise for nature-lovers, Haridwar presents kaleidoscope of Indian culture and civilization. Haridwar also termed as 'Gateway to Gods' is known as Mayapuri, Kapila, Gangadwar as well. The followers of Lord Shiva(Har) and followers of Lord Vishnu(Hari) pronounce this place Hardwar and Hardwar respectively as told by some. It is also a point of entry to Dev Bhoomi and Char Dham (Four main centers of pilgrimage in Uttarakhand) Viz. Badrinath, Kedarnath, Gangotri and Yamunotri.

Legendary king Bhagirath is said to have brought the river Ganga from heaven to earth in order to provide salvation to his ancestors. It is also said that Haridwar has been sanctified by the presence of three Gods; Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh. Lord Vishnu is said to have his foot print on the stone that is set in the upper wall of Har-Ki-Pauri where the Holy Ganga touches it all the times . Devout believers feel that they can go to heaven by getting their salvation after a dip in the sacred Ganga at Haridwar.

Haridwar is also one of the four places; where Kumbh Mela occurs after rotation of every twelve Years and Ardh Kumbh after every six years. It is said that drops of Amrit (Elixir) fell in to the Brahmkund of Har-Ki-Pairi, therefore considered that a dip in the Brahmakund on this particular day which is very auspicious and when Jupiter (Brahaspati) comes to the sign Aquarius (Kumbh) once in every twelve years the Maha Kumbh fair is celebrated at Haridwar. Kumbh, 1998 was the last Maha Kumbh of this century. Yet beyond the mystic aura and mythology, Haridwar casts another magic spell on the visitor. Being one of the oldest living cities, Haridwar finds its mention in the ancient Hindu scriptures as it waves through the life and time stretching from the period of the Buudha to the more recent British advent. Haridwar has not only remained the abode of the weary in body, mind and spirit, but also served as centre of attraction for many, for learning the arts science and culture. Haridwar's long standing position as a great source for Ayurvedic medicines and herbal remedies as well as its unique Gurukul school of traditional education, the scenic beauty and lush greenery...all give the city unique flavors and charm; a must among the sojourn centers in a discoverer's intinary of Uttarakhand - A destination for all seasons.

Haridwar is one of the first towns where Ganga emerges from the mountains to touch the planes. And that's why the water is crystal clear and cool. Lush green forests and small ponds add to the scenic beauty of this holy land. The Rajaji National Park is just 10 kms from Haridwar. Its an ideal destination for wild life and adventure lovers. In the evening the ghats look breathtakingly beautiful as thousands of diyas (lamps) and marigold flowers float and illuminate the holy waters.

Haridwar as today has not only religious importance but it has another temple of modern civilization i.e. BHEL, a 'Navratna PSU' to its credit. The Roorkee University at Roorkee is one of the oldest and prestigious institute of learning in the fields of science and engineering. Another university of the district i.e. Gurukul having vast campus is giving traditional educations of its own kind.

Geography

Haridwar district, covering an area of about 2360 sq.km. is in the western part of Uttarakhand state of India. It's latitude and longitude are 29.58 degree north and 78.13 degree east respectively. The height from the sea level is 249.7 mts. The district came into existence on 28th Dec. 1988. Prior to its inclusion in the newly created state of Uttarakhand, this district was a part of Saharanpur Divisional Commissionary. The district is ringed by Saharanpur in the west, Dehradun in the north and east, Pauri Garhwal in the east, Muzzaffar Nagar and Bijnor in the south. The district headquarter is situated in the Roshnabad, at a distance of about 12 kms from railway station. The Collectorate, Vikas Bhawan, District Judiciary, S.S.P. Office, Police line, District Jail, District sports stadium, Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya etc. are the prime establishments of this area. The district is administratively subdivided into three tehsils i.e. Haridwar, Roorkee and Laksar and six development blocks i.e. Bhagwanpur, Roorkee, Narsan, Bahadrabad, Laksar and Khanpur. Haridwar is one of the first towns where Ganga emerges from the mountains to touch the planes. As per the 2001 census, the population of the district is 14,44,213. Due to Haridwar's location on the bank of river Ganga, it has plenty of water resources and almost all kind of food grains are produced here in abundance. For more statistical details, you may see 'District at a glance' on this web site.

Places of Interest

Har Ki Pauri

The Har Ki Pauri is the most famous ghat on the banks of the Ganges at Haridwar. This is the ghat that witnesses the daily Aarti ritual and that welcomes crowds who flock the banks for the Aarti. The Hark i Pauri is also known as Brahmakund and mythology suggests that Lord Shiva and lord Vishnu had visited this place during the Vedic times. A temple is built around a large foot mark which is believed to be the imprints of Lord Vishnu.Budget and Luxury hotels are located near the Hark i Pauri to house all types of visitors and guests who visit Haridwar.

Mansa Devi

A standout amongst the most visited temples in Haridwar, Mansa Devi Mandir is situated on top of the Shivalik slopes. This temple is devoted to Goddess Mansa Devi, accepted to satisfy the wishes of the individuals who visit here. It is a convention with the lovers tie sacred strings around the tree that stands inside the premises of the Mansa Devi shrine. From the shrine, one can catch beautiful glimpses of the Haridwar town. Alongside the Chandi Devi and the Maya Devi shrines, Mansa Devi temple completes the Siddhapeeth Triangle.

Chandi Devi

Chandi Devi Temple, located on the top of Neel Parvat, Chandi Devi Temple is one of the major tourist attractions in Haridwar. It is also major religious site of this town. This is around 3 km from Chandighat. It is one of the Shidhh peeth. The temple is devoted to Goddess Chandi. The main temple is situated on top of Hill peak.

Chandi Devi is of great religious importance and is also considered as one of the Shakti peethas of North India. This temple is also known as Siddh peetha, as it is believed to have powers to fulfill the wishes of devotees.

Daksha Mahadev Temple

This temple is located towards the south of the Kankhal town in Haridwar which is built up by Rani Dhankaur in AD 1810, the Daksha Mahadev Temple is the site where Daksha performed a yagna (a Hindu custom to conjure divine beings and look for their gifts).

In the Hindu mythology, Daksha Prajapati is the father of Sati, the life partner of Lord Shiva. The sanctuary is only a couple of minutes drive from the railway station.

Sapt Rishi

The ashram is both ancient and much prominent. The words Sapt Rishi is a mix of sapt (seven) and rishi (sage). As per the Hindu conventions, it is the spot where the holy Ganga parts herself in seven streams to keep any aggravation to the seven sages (Kashyapa, Vashisht, Atri, Vishwamitra, Jamadagi, Bharadwaja and Gautam) who were profoundly caught up in reflection. A 5 km drive from Har ki Pauri takes you to the Sapt Rishi Ashram.

Maya Devi

Devoted to goddess Maya Devi, the sanctuary is a noteworthy fascination for all guests to Haridwar.

The temple is considered one of the shaktipithas in India. As per the Hindu mythology, it is the spot where the heart and navel of goddess Sati tumbled down, while Lord Shiva was conveying her smoldered body. Various celebrations are held at the Maya Devi sanctuary in keeping with the traditions and customs.

Bhimgoda Tank

Haridwar is a fortune trove of consecrated tanks. One of these fanciful tanks (Kund in Hindi) is the Bhimgoda Tank. The sacred tank gets it name from Bhima, an incredible character of the Hindu epic Mahabharat and the second of the five Pandava siblings. The perfect sacredness of the site pulls in swarms of lovers from the whole way across India and the world. Found exactly at 300 m from Har ki Pauri in Haridwar, the Bhimgoda Tank breathes life into the wonderful scenes of the Hindu epic Mahabharata.

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